Bike lover’s pilgrimage to the racing isle
Andrew Bonamour reports on his experience of the legendary Isle of Man TT
It’s every motorcyclist’s dream to attend the Isle of Man TT, which takes place at the beginning of June each year. Roughly 40,000 spectators descend on the small island that floats between the British mainland and Northern Ireland for the gathering. Many bring their own motorcycles, for a week of practice and competition, all of which culminates in the Senior Tourist Trophy (TT). Legend has it that the start of the TT goes back to 1907, when motorcycle enthusiasts would head to the Isle of Man to test their machines because it had no speed limits — escaping the mainland where there was a staggering 5mph (8km/h) cap at the time. This was the era when motorcycling was just taking off and the need for speed was paramount. In fact, it’s what sold bikes — up until the 1860s, the fastest man had gone in the preceding 2,000 years was on horseback. More than 100 years later and the race remains pretty much unchanged. The local government still turns 60.72km of undulating public roads (incl...